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Gov. Walz says middle and high school students can return Feb. 22 for in-person learning

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - AP image

Walz expects all schools to offer some form of in-person learning by March 8.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 10:09 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 1:22 PM

Students across Minnesota will soon be back to in-person learning.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that starting Feb. 22, "all middle and high school students can return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning."

Walz expects all schools to offer some form of in-person learning by March 8.

“It’s time for students to be back in the classroom,” Governor Walz said. “We aren’t out of the woods, but our relentless progress with vaccines and Minnesotans’ vigilance has put us closer than ever to the end of this pandemic. Our progress means we can get more students safely back into classrooms. As a parent and former teacher, I know how critical this step is for the economic security, well-being, and mental health of our kids and their families.”

Minnesota has surpassed 940,000 doses administered to nearly 700,000 people.

"Nearly 25 percent of teachers and 40 percent of seniors have been vaccinated – numbers that are growing every day. The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is now below five percent. Hospitalizations are also steadily declining," the state's press release said. 

Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Walz’s announcement on middle school and high school reopenings:

“I am glad the governor is moving in the right direction, but he still is exercising too much authority over decisions that should be in the hands of local school officials. On the surface it looks like he is granting local control, but the reality is that schools can only open if they follow his requirements. That’s not how it should be at this stage of the pandemic; the governor should provide guidance only and leave the decision-making to local schools. I look forward to passing Senate File 2 tomorrow, which will return that authority to local school districts.”

Rochester Public Schools Communications Director Heather Nessler  also issued the following statement after the Governor's announcement:

"Today, Minnesota’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, Heather Mueller, announced an update to the Safe Learning Plan. This plan was updated to align more closely with CDC guidance. We will be reviewing this guidance thoroughly and discussing this with our COVID-19 Advisory Team, which consists of the Superintendent, members of the School Board and Cabinet, union leadership, District COVID-19 team members, and officials from Olmsted County Public Health and Mayo Clinic. Our team will meet tomorrow afternoon."

"Our priority remains to return all of our children to school full time while keeping our staff and students safe. As guidelines evolve, we will continue to follow the science and ensure that we put our community, education professionals, and students in the best possible place during this pandemic and these historic times."

"As a reminder, the most recent School Board decisions about RPS Learning Models:"

"PreK and Elementary School: Return to in-person learning model PreK - Grade 5 on March 1"
"Middle and High School: Return to in-person learning model Grades 6 - 12 on April 5"

"We know these are challenging times, and we sincerely appreciate your support, patience, and partnership in education."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926931

Reported Deaths: 9740
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1809132056
Ramsey749811054
Dakota68505591
Anoka64961589
Washington41119367
Stearns34021287
St. Louis29939416
Scott26281188
Wright26260226
Olmsted22677131
Sherburne19206130
Carver1687671
Clay12219108
Blue Earth1162171
Rice11578139
Crow Wing11318124
Chisago1005281
Kandiyohi9913108
Otter Tail9908130
Benton9174128
Beltrami8249100
Goodhue822699
Douglas7967101
Itasca779999
Mower740049
McLeod723384
Winona715158
Isanti711085
Steele695034
Morrison678681
Becker631675
Polk608987
Freeborn569947
Carlton552577
Mille Lacs539479
Lyon532961
Nicollet528561
Nobles527954
Pine521143
Cass505255
Todd496443
Brown473661
Le Sueur464736
Meeker437960
Martin391344
Waseca381433
Wabasha380110
Dodge366412
Hubbard357649
Roseau320532
Fillmore310115
Wadena306040
Redwood283845
Houston275317
Renville271651
Faribault261835
Sibley256017
Pennington254830
Kanabec254437
Cottonwood232933
Aitkin225052
Chippewa222043
Pope209910
Watonwan201121
Yellow Medicine189925
Koochiching179225
Rock178429
Swift174124
Stevens170211
Jackson162016
Clearwater159421
Marshall154822
Murray152911
Pipestone150929
Lake134124
Lac qui Parle124425
Wilkin122016
Mahnomen108314
Norman10579
Grant102410
Big Stone9585
Lincoln8915
Kittson74623
Red Lake71810
Traverse6086
Unassigned563124
Lake of the Woods5285
Cook3141

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 532160

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Unassigned64520
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
Rochester
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